Digital Photography Tips For Landscape & Wildlife Photos
Mastered the art of the wide angle yet? Know how to add a spicy kick to those action shots? Browse articles filled with expert digital photography tips. These landscape and wildlife photo techniques will improve your photography in no time.
Don’t rely on setting the camera to auto or fixing a photo after capture. Check out what the pros have to say about exposure.
Mastering exposure is every bit as important for a digital shooter as it is for a film photographer. Routine technical choices about metering, lens aperture and shutter speed remain the basic ingredients for a well-executed photograph. But what if you’re trying to capture a forest freshly covered in snow, or photograph a close-up shot of a bee crawling on a sunflower, or compose an image of the ocean just after sunset?
Beyond illumination, there is the mood of a photograph
Family and friends have to get used to a photographer’s definition of good shooting conditions. They’ll ask, “How’s the weather out?”, whereas a photographer will ask, “How’s the light?” One of the key components of any photograph—whether you’re working in a studio or outdoors—is the quality of light. The “feel” of the light in a photograph often can determine its visual impact.
From the Arctic to the Serengeti, global nature photographer Daniel J. Cox shares his tips for taking images in extreme weather conditions
The wind is howling—not sure of the speed exactly, but the weather report suggested gusts of 30 mph or more with a wind chill in the area of -50º F. Wind chill is an understatement when the ambient temperature is already -30º F. The word “chill” seems a little underhyped. It has been two hours, and I’m still kneeling in the icy snow, my kneecaps starting to feel like frozen saucers.
Get a different perspective on your favorite scenic vistas by experimenting with telephoto lens compositions
Say the words “landscape photography,” and most people immediately think of wide-open spaces, majestic mountains, big skies, long views and extreme perspectives. And yet, some landscape images don’t necessarily need impressive land features or dramatic skies. In fact, they may not need sky at all. Successful compositions can be found not only on a grand scale, but also in intimate, graceful detail.
Pressing the shutter button is only the very beginning
“I can’t verbalize the internal meaning of pictures whatsoever. Some of my friends can at very mystical levels, but I prefer to say that, if I feel something strongly, I would make a photograph that would be the equivalent of what I saw and felt...” —Ansel Adams
Today’s tilt-shift lenses offer unparalleled perspective control
Ansel Adams was best known for his ultra-sharp landscapes, which he achieved through the use of a 4x5 view camera. The view camera allowed Adams to adjust the film plane and the lens plane so he could control the depth of field and the size relationships of objects in the frame with tilt and rise and fall movements. Using this technique, he was able to alter the perspective to his desire, whether he was trying to achieve perspective control through rise movements in Yosemite or increasing the depth of field by making the lens standard tilt down.
The flowers that bloom so profusely in the Spring give you a chance to create otherworldly images of color and shape. It's photography that's beyond the ordinary.
My exploration into the incredible beauty of abstract flower photography began at a photo workshop at Point Reyes National Seashore in California. It was a turning point in my life! Once I discovered the unlimited number of graphic designs I could create with the colors and patterns and flowing lines of a blossom—the way I could change the drama and mood by subtly changing how the light played on the petals and accented the shadows—I was hooked.
No matter what the weather, the light or the location, you always can get into the close-up world and find "the picture"
Macro photography is an exciting endeavor—it's an entry into a world that's unseen by most people, who move blithely past the explosion of life all around us because it comes in such small packages. Photographers who find and capture that life in a picture immediately can show off images that will surprise and delight the average person just because the subject matter is largely unseen.
Getting in close and maintaining critical focus is the forte of this breed of lens
Macro lenses come in a variety of focal lengths: standard 50mm to 70mm, short telephoto 85mm to 100mm and telephoto 180mm to 200mm. With standard focal-length macros, you have to be physically much closer to your subject to get the full, 1:1 life-size magnification. Lens-to-subject distance usually will be less than six inches.
Ansel Adams didn't have a digital darkroom at his disposal, but you do. Learn how you can make the most of it.
The big three of printing, Canon, Epson and HP, now offer technologies that have made black-and-white printing more exciting than ever. With inks, papers and printers providing black-and-white prints that can last well over a century, it’s time to learn a little more about how to get quality black-and-white prints from your images.
Learn to use the subtleties of illumination for dramatic landscape images
You know the difference between frontlight, sidelight and backlight. You’ve heard about the need to capture the "magic hours" around sunrise and sunset. But to master light, the essence of photography, you have to move beyond these basics and learn the nuances—the subtleties that can make a dull image brilliant.
When the weather turns bad, it's time to get the camera. Even in the winter, there are astonishing images to be had if you‚’re willing to look for them.
My choice of seats on the eastern rim of a 1,000-foot chasm was questionable, but the sandstone boulder was a welcome relief from the long hike I had just made along the rimrock in search of cactus flowers in bloom. It was in the spring season, and wildflowers were blossoming in full color over the northern Texas Panhandle, and I needed images for a Texas Highways article on Panhandle flowering plants. The day had been long, and I was taking a much-needed respite before the 200-mile drive home.
Sometimes changing the exposure just isn't enough to get the shot
An accessory flash may not come to mind initially as an important tool for wildlife photography, but I never go out on a shoot without one. I recommend that you pack a flash in your gear bag before you next venture into the field.
Setting everything on full auto isn't always the ideal solution. Try these tips to get your best shots every time.
Film photographers have known for years the importance of correct exposure. If you overexpose a slide, the highlights are gone irretrievably. If you underexpose a slide, the image will be murky, with no true black tone in the darkest areas. Negative films have a little more leeway, in that you can make some adjustments when printing the negative, but again, the image quality won’t be great if the image is over- or underexposed.
The background can be just as important as the foreground.
For the past 20 years or more, there has been a trend among wildlife photographers, myself included, to minimize the contribution of the background in their photographs by rendering it as low key as possible. By doing so, the subject can be freed from visual competition and stand out clearly.